April 7, 2020

Sell Plants at the Farmers Market

Hey again, it’s Jason from Fraser Valley Rose Farm. Well, I’ve just finished loading out plants for the farmers market I’ve been working on them all spring so I’m pretty excited about getting them out to market and sell them. If you have considered selling plants at the farmers market or running a backyard nursery on a small scale trying to sell plants then what I’d like to do today is bring you along with me and Show you what it’s like to sell plants at the farmers market and take you through Some of the considerations so I will pack up the camera and take you with me and with the plants But first I wanted to have a quick conversation About some of just the basics of selling at the farmers market and some things you might not know if you haven’t sold there before number one at a farmers market They usually do require that you are the grower of the plant also If you’re selling baked goods that you are the baker or if you are selling crafts that you’re the maker of those goods That’s what the farmers market is all about. So you have to be prepared to show them that you’ve Made these plants yourself that you’ve grown the plants yourself. For me that’s no problem I usually propagate all the plants from cuttings myself or grow them from seed. If you do buy in plugs Or if you do buy in starter plants You may have to check with the policies of your local farmers market to see if that’s acceptable to them The second thing that you may need to know is that they want you to declare Upfront all the things that you’ll be selling at the farmers market for the season so when you make that application Just be sure to include all the things like I include all of my roses and all of my plants but I also include cut flowers if I happen to cut those throughout the season I include tomatoes because I do a Harvest of tomatoes later on I include my squash So just put all those on your application so you don’t run afoul of the market later on When choosing a market you have to be a little selective and in my area here in the Fraser Valley There’s probably 15 or 16 Farmers markets that I could actually drive to and attend if I wanted to sell my plants there So what it’s paid for me to do is to try out a number of the different farmers markets and see what they’re like They can vary a lot each farmers market as their own independent board. They have all their own policies Usually a policy manual they expect you to know and some of them are a little relaxed Some of them are a little more, you know interested in your success Some of them – some of them You’re just a number that you’re just a vendor and they want you to Jump through the hoops and make applications and pay fees and that’s all you are to them To know which kind of farmers market you’re dealing with you may have to try a few different farmers markets and just see how the fit is for you and your style of business and Also how many customers are coming there to buy plants. Ok That’s my quick bit on how to select a farmers market and some of the basic things you need to know Let me pack you up now we’ll go down to the farmers market and I’ll show you how I set up how I tag my plants and How I do for sales. All right. I’m at the farmers market now and I brought a bunch of plants How many plants you bring to market depends a little bit on the week. This week It’s sunny. It’s Mother’s Day (soon) It’s the first farmers market of the season. So I’ve loaded heavy I might consider carrying a little bit less on weeks Where I’m unsure about how much I’ll sell because remember if you pack it up you may have to bring it home also Just in terms of equipment you could sort of zoom in over there and see that we bring tents We bring tables we bring our tablecloths our signage and so on one thing I don’t bring is a chair and that’s a personal preference thing, but they don’t like to bring a chair because if I bring a chair I might consider sitting down and for me Engagement with the customer is better when I stand up and your mileage may vary on that piece of advice Some people do a great job either due to physical limitations. I can’t stand all market So they sit down and they do a great job of engaging with their customers But for me standing up talking to my customers is is the right way to engage All right. Let me get the tent set up I’ll put down some plants and I’ll show you how I price them and how I merchandise them Okay Wow my I’ve been picked over I’ve been shopped And I have been run off my feet this morning all the way through but I did want to get a chance to show you how I set up here is the inside of my tent here with the signage and One important step I think is to have good picture signage and see here that I’ve put down the vital statistics of the plant the name Both in common and Latin and some information about how to buy it that makes it really easy for your customers to know what they’re getting also really important to have clear signage on pricing And that helps out a lot This market lets me spread out a little bit Which isn’t policy that most of them do but this this morning they didn’t have a vendor beside me So they just let me take up this space for my roses which, again I’ve sold through a ton of my roses already for the day. So that is most excellent And one thing I do is as I sell plants out I just leave the tags out so that people can see sort of what they missed and that makes it easy for the next For the next week that people come back looking for that plant Or at least they can tell me to bring some plants back for them. But yeah, that’s my set up at the farmers market and Maybe I will stick in a section here and you don’t have to stick around for it on how to make the tags like this one here Okay, this is the software I use for making my photo tags it’s Libre Office draw over here and I use that because it’s free and open source software and so I do like that about it, but you can use any kind of Desktop publishing software I used to use Microsoft Publisher and that was fine This will do fine the kind of printing I’m doing here This tag is formatted for 4×6 photo printing So I eventually export it to a jpg file and I’ll show you how to do that. But basically first thing you have to do is you have to make sure in your Format that the page properties say that it’s 4×6 or the equivalent with no margins and That was the equivalent in centimeters the way I actually format the tag here is really really simple just the name across the top in one text box and then the next text box down I have The description of the plant and then a big picture just so that customers will know what it’s going to look like That’s the most important thing right now Easy way to use this to make a new tag is to just hit this replace button here and that Will take me through to a file with my pictures in it and let’s say I wanted to change this tag over to Betty Will and all my tags here are pretty much formatted for Square anyway because I probably posted them on Instagram previously. So they fit right into this spot that I have Here you go across the top you change the name over to Betty will and Then change the specs down below here and you’ve got a new picture card and once you’ve reformatted the picture card fully Then I’ll have to put in a description on that one afterwards. Then you go down here and instead of hitting save you say export and export you change it to jpg and Hit save and I’m not going to save it as William lob won’t you save it as Betty Hit save And then What it will do is it will ask you what resolution you’d like it in now if you do it about 96 pixels per inch that’ll be fairly low resolution I pump that up to 400 and width of 6 which brings it back into proportion keep the quality up high and say Okay, and that saves it then you can just move that file that you just saved Into a directory see to take that to the regular Photo Store You know any place you get your photos developed and that will give you a nice durable inexpensive Picture card so you can sell your plans Alright back at the farm here I had a really good day of sales run off my feet all day and I can tell it was a good day because I Have a lot less plants coming home Then I took to the market probably about 20 or 25 Percent of what I loaded in the morning has come back with me today, which to my standard is really good What I’ll do is I’ll take up to you upstairs in a minute. I’ll count down the money I’ll give you some idea of what a good day at the farmers market looks like for me Just so you can have some assessment of whether it’s worth doing for you on the topic of things I did well and things I did not so well at this market One of the things I made a mistake on is somebody came to me In the morning and actually almost first thing I said I want this rose and I agreed to hold it for her I didn’t get her to pay for it right away More customers came throughout the day. They all wanted that rose I said no probably three or four times and then the customer never came back for it. So Bad on me I shouldn’t be holding things for people without having them pay for it first So lesson learned I won’t be doing that again One more thing on the topic of coming home with an empty van, which is you know My preference it comes down to pricing strategy and there are a couple of different viewpoints on this I know some other people who sell plants in the farmers market and their goal is to maximize the amount of money or the profit on each individual plant So they don’t mind bringing the plant to market two three four times as long as they get the price They’ll be asking a good price or a high price for the for the plant and in the end Maybe they’ll get it but it will take them a bit more time to do so for me My preference is I price a little bit lower I price sort of on par with what you’d see in the local garden centers or what you’d see in the local mass merchant stores Just for the point of view of I have other plants on the way I don’t want to be loading stuff up bringing it home having to water it having to Deadhead it feed it for the rest of the season I’d really prefer to just take it to the market One time price it reasonably and sell it through so that’s my point of view on pricing Certainly, we can talk about it in the comments if you have a different point of view All right, let’s go up and count the money All right time for the countdown here. I have my float here I routinely keep a hundred dollars in this so I have some fives and tens Here and some coins for the next market all of that funny Canadian money here On this side here. This is what I put pulled out as my earnings and I have a hundred I have a bunch of 20s and I counted that off-camera it totals eight hundred and forty dollars Plus a $2.00 coin a toonie and a one dollar coin the loonies So our total is eight hundred and forty-three dollars So I could be some idea of what you could do selling plants at the farmers market or at least what I’m able to do Selling plants at the farmers market at stage in my business. I will say that this is a good day for me I mean, this is a Better-than-average. It’s right at the beginning of the season when plant demand is very high and it’s also I have lots of plants to sell so that’s a good day and Now that I’ve aired it on YouTube. I’m sure revenue Canada is just waiting for me to enter it into my accounting software So I can pay some taxes on it. So I’m going to go do that now if you have any questions about how to Sell plants at the farmers market or anything to do with selling plants Please drop those below the video and I’ll do my best to answer them. Thanks

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